Christmas Present: Mellow Mulling Syrup

It’s time for part 2 of the Gluten Freek Christmas Recipe Challenge! (Click here for part 1). If you’re likely to get a Christmas present from me, look away now!

Nothing evokes the feeling of having spent a day in the snowy mountains than the warm fuzzy feeling of a vin chaud in your tummy. Unfortunately much of the mulled wine on offer in London bars is an excuse to sell cheap red disguised with bitter orange at £8 a glass – yuk!

After some experimenting with the recipes I found online, I landed on this, which combines some of my favourite spices with the smooth taste of vanilla to create something altogether more mellow- perfect for causing you to doze off in front of the fire and dream of blue sky powder days. Even the clove-sceptic GEH liked it! Just make sure you use a nice bottle of red wine to mix with it. For an added ‘warm inside’ feeling I have used Fairtrade ingredients wherever possible – fairtrade sugar,  spices and even wine can be found in most supermarkets.

Will make: 3-4 bottles of mulling syrup (each bottle combines with a bottle of red to make mulled wine). Is also really nice to use for poached pears.


  • 1 bottle nice red wine (or 750ml water/apple juice if you want to use for mulled cider or apple)
  • 500g sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods split down the middle
  • 1/3 nutmeg, grated
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • A knob of fresh ginger
  • 12 cloves (don’t tell GEH)
  • 12 whole allspice
  • 6 clementines
  • 2 limes
  • 1 lemon


  • 4 x 250ml preserving bottles
  • A funnel
  • A very fine strainer or filter (I used a sterilised tea strainer)


  1. Use a vegetable peeler to take large sections of peel from the lemon and lime.
  2. Put in a saucepan with all ingredients except the wine, clementines and star anise.
  3. Cut the clementines into quarters and squeeze into the saucepan. Throw in the peel too.
  4. Add in the wine/water and give a good stir.
  5. Heat over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Throw in the star anise.
  6. Boil for 10 minutes to produce a syrup.
  7. Meanwhile, sterilise your bottles.
  8. When the bottles are ready, pour in the hot liquid using the funnel and filter (very important if using water to avoid too much sediment). Add a cinnamon stick and star anise for decoration if you wish. Seal whilst still hot.
  9. Add an instruction label: ‘heat with 1 bottle of red wine and a good glug of brandy for a festive treat.’ Should keep for a couple of months.

2 responses to “Christmas Present: Mellow Mulling Syrup

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Almond Pear Pots | fruit is not a pudding·

  2. Pingback: Chocolate Almond Pear Pots | gluten free b·

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